Lisa Firer – Texture in clay: Embossing and Debossing

Hi, my name is Lisa Firer and in this workshop we will explore 2 ways to create textured surfaces, embossing and debossing. I will be demonstrating how I make my embossing or pressing plates for my porcelain tea light holders. I’ll also show you how to use found objects for texture and how to create your own textured stamps. I am a lover of poetry and sacred text so I’ll show you how to include text in your pressing plate. This workshop is suitable for all levels.

In the workshop I will show you what clay to choose and how to roll out the slab and get it to the right level of dryness for use. I’ll demonstrate various options of how best to apply texture and text to the plate along with tips, tricks and tools. I’ll show you lots of different textures from both found objects and those you can make yourself and get you going with lots of ideas for building a texture library of your own.

Workshop Results / Benefits At the end of the workshop you will be fired up to explore the wonderful world of texture and have direct and indirect ways to create textured surfaces for your ceramics.
Required Materials & Equipment List Smooth clay, smoothing tools e.g. old credit card or thin flexible metal kidney, rolling pin, corn starch, wooden chopsticks, newspaper, wooden board, plaster board if you have one. Anything textural that you might like to experiment with.

When you buy this workshop, you get:

  • Watch my Live Online Workshop
    • The workshop will be around 1 hour 20 minutes long.
  • Bonus Q&A
    • Watch my Q&A where I answered questions about my process face-to-face
  • Lifetime Access to the Replays
    • The workshop and the Q&A are recorded, and you will have lifetime access to it. You can watch it online, or download it to your device to watch offline at any time

After this workshop, you could be making amazing work like this:


I first picked up clay 33 years ago and it’s been a love affair ever since! From low-fired earthenware through to high-fired porcelain… from bright colour to a white palette and back again… I’m living and working in Cape Town, South Africa and am blessed to be part of this rich and vibrant community of artists and makers.

The thread that links most of my work is texturing clay. I studied ceramics at WITS Technikon from 1993-1995. It was on an artist-in-residency programme in Skaelskor, Denmark in 2000 that I became fascinated with the use of candlelight combined with porcelain. This has led to many years exploring how layering texture makes the most of the magical quality of translucent porcelain.

I’m primarily a slab builder, using textured and coloured hand-rolled porcelain: cut, reassembled and layered. My designs reference fabric, patchwork and the process of sewing; paper and origami, embossing and debossing; light and layering.

My spiritual life and meditation practice are expressed through my clay work.  I use text from poetry and ancient Sufi and Buddhist wisdom in my work.  In the using and re-using of these textural references, I remind myself of this wisdom and beauty and share it with the people who live with my work.

I am really committed to the hand-made craft object in this world of mass production and feel that the mark and energy of the maker are transferred into the work, especially through something as tactile as clay. My intention as I work is to transfer some of the qualities of light, beauty, gentleness and the opening of the heart into my work. Through my ceramics, I share these qualities.

In addition, before Covid, I ran a small-scale production studio for many years, together with a small team, making slab-built porcelain vessels, tea-light holders and lights sold all over the globe.
website: www.lisafirer.co.za     Instagram: lisafirerdesign 

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Workshop Includes

  • 2 Lessons
  • Workshop Certificate